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Pathways to Demonstrate Basic Skills for Teacher Certification Candidates

Pennsylvania undergraduate certification candidates must pass the basic skills assessments in math, reading and writing prior to formal admission into a program. PDE has developed seven testing options to better assist candidates in successfully demonstrating basic skills. They are provided below.

Additional information on testing requirements can be found at: Certification Test and Score Requirements (Excel)


Act 55 of 2022 Basic Skills Assessment Moratorium
Act 55 of 2022 signed into law by Governor Wolf on July 8, 2022 requires the Secretary of Education to waive the requirement to satisfactorily complete the assessment of basic skills required under section 1207.3 and 22 Pa. Code § 49.18(c) (relating to assessment) for 3 years from July 8, 2022 through July 8, 2025. This applies to all students who enter preparation programs during this period as well as otherwise qualified candidates for licensure who make application during this period.


Option #1

Take the Pre-professional Academic Performance Assessment administered by Pearson in:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing
(4/2/12)

Option #4

Take the ACT Test in:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing
(9/1/2013)

Option #2

Take the CORE assessment administered by the Educational Testing Service in:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing
(9/1/2013)

Option #5

Take the ACT Test in:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing

Note: Language will be required if the test was taken after March 2016.

(9/1/2013)

Option #3

Have taken the former PPSTs administered by the Educational Testing Service in:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing
(9/1/2013)

Option #6

  • Math Course Alternative
  • Reading Course Alternative
  • Writing Course Alternative

Complete a PDE approved course(s) and receive a B or better to demonstrate meeting basic skills.

(10/6/2020)

Option #7

Basic Skills Mixed Scores: A Basic Skills Composite Score Calculator (Excel) has been created to allow candidates to mix and match the options in #1 through #5 above to demonstrate basic skills. The scores used must meet the required passing score for the individual test in the calculator.